TENNERTON – With the Buckhannon-Upshur football Buccaneers on their bye week, first-year head coach Zach Davis had one goal for his team this week after last Friday’s 56-14 loss to Greenbrier East – get better.
“We watched the Greenbrier East game film on Monday and spoke openly and honestly about the good and the bad and we challenged our team this week to fix the things we can fix,” stated Davis. “They responded well, and we had a couple of good days of practice. They really got after it.”
“They still need to learn that you have to earn your position each week,” Davis added. “Just because you are a senior or a guy that has been around the team, doesn’t guarantee you any playing time. We are going to play the best guys and that has been a process for them. They are continuing to learn that you have to earn every minute of playing time.”
Davis said he didn’t see any confidence shaken from his team after last week’s loss.
“I don’t think we lost any confidence we had together as a team; if anything, we challenged the guys this week,” said Davis. “They can play better. We need to reduce the mental errors and give better effort. Being on the bench is a great motivator. If they don’t want to play better and practice better, then we will find someone else that will. That was the message we were sending this week: that we have to play harder and better than what we did last week against Greenbrier East. Wins and losses will take care of themselves, but our performance last week was unacceptable. We have to play with better effort. I think that message got through to them this week.”
There was some discussion that the Bucs may pick up a home game with Brooke Friday night but that didn’t come to fruition as the program is still waiting to see how their home opener with Bridgeport that got canceled is handled.
“Bridgeport couldn’t play us Friday night because they already had a game scheduled with Robert C. Byrd,” noted Davis about rescheduling with the Indians. “The WVSSAC, from my understanding, hasn’t given a definite word about how they are handling forfeits yet. So we didn’t want to get into a situation where we played a team Friday night like Brooke and then somehow, down the road, we would have to play Bridgeport to avoid a forfeit loss. That would have given us 11 games, which we can’t do. We still have no answers if the Bridgeport game is going to be a no-contest, a forfeit, or how it is going to play out.”
With just three games under their belts, Davis said the week-five bye week came at a good time for his Buccaneers.
“I like having the bye week where it is, sort of in the middle of our season,” remarked Davis. “I know the cliché is to try to get healthy during a bye week, but we have to get better instead. It was full pads this week and we went after it. The team will have Friday off and it will be back to work on Monday preparing for John Marshall.”
With the Bridgeport game canceled in week one, next Friday’s John Marshall game will be the home opener now for the Bucs after three straight road games, and it will also be the homecoming game for B-U.
“It will be nice not getting home around 2:30 a.m.,” said Davis about getting to play at home next Friday, after long road trips to Ripley and Greenbrier East in week two and week four. “It will be good to be home for the first time. We weren’t able to even have a home scrimmage this year, so this truly will be our first home game of the year.”
The Bucs and John Marshall will kickoff next Friday at 7:30 p.m.